Instagram’s video feature allows users to shoot 15-second clips. Photo via vimeo.com
The online marketing landscape is constantly changing, but ecommerce and online marketing continue to be very important parts of a business’s strategy. There are currently more than 1 billion online buyers worldwide, and it's predicted that video traffic will consume 79 percent of all consumer Internet traffic in 2018. What does that mean for small businesses? If you want to be successful in online marketing, you need to use video.
If the idea of participating in or creating a video for your business makes you nervous, you’re not alone. But if you think that you need expensive video cameras, complicated editing software and a crew of videographers to make quality content for your business, you’re wrong.
Luckily, today’s technology allows nearly anyone to easily film and edit videos using free or low-cost tools. Here are some useful tools for small businesses that are looking for budget-friendly ways to integrate videos into their marketing strategy.
Many smartphones are able to record high-quality video. This means that creating videos can really be as simple as point and shoot. Just remember to always turn your phone horizontally when filming and to shoot in an area with good lighting and minimal background noise. You should also consider purchasing a small mobile tripod for stability.
Windows Movie Maker or iMovie
No need to purchase expensive video-editing software. Windows Movie Maker or iMovie are automatically included on PC and Mac computers. This software is fairly intuitive and allows you to edit clips while adding text, logos and music to your videos.
A variety of free or low-cost mobile apps are available for those who would like to edit their videos right on their smartphone or tablet. Visual social apps like Vine and Instagram both have some video-editing capabilities. Other apps like Directr help guide businesses through the filming and editing process, entirely on your phone. Just do a quick search in your app store and you’ll see how many options there are.
Once you know how to create a video, you may be wondering what to film and where to share it. Start by setting a goal for your video. What do you want it to accomplish, and who are you targeting? Your video could be as simple as thanking people for coming to your website, introducing a new product, announcing a sale or answering a question that's commonly asked about your industry. Remember to keep your video short, as the average viewer’s attention span is no longer than 1-2 minutes.
What you decide to film also influences where you will share it. To effectively market your organization, consider sharing your videos on the following platforms.
Including video on your website helps build a connection between you and your customer. Website visitors are 64 percent more likely to buy a product on an online retail site after watching a video. Additionally, using video on your website drastically improves your website’s search engine ranking. Video content is 50 times more likely to get organic page ranks in Google than plain text, according to Forrester Research.
Creating videos gives you content that you can easily share on social media. Platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Vine give you creative options to promote your videos and engage your followers.
YouTube is more than just a popular site to host videos. In fact, it is the second-largest search engine in the world and processes more than 3 billion searches each month. What kind of questions are people asking about your products, services or industry? If you’re looking to improve your SEO ranking and generate web traffic, consider creating a video that answers one of those common questions. Upload it to YouTube, and don’t forget to add relevant keywords to your video’s title and description.
Video is a very effective way to increase engagement with email marketing campaigns. Marketers who included video in their emails noticed that click-through rates were 2-3 times greater than emails with just text. Your subscribers may also be more apt to forward newsletters with useful videos than ones full of text. Instead of sending out newsletters that only use text, try adding in a short video announcement.
Videos are incredibly powerful tools in an online marketing strategy, and they shouldn’t intimidate small businesses. By effectively using these free and low-cost resources, small businesses can expand their marketing reach in creative and engaging ways.